Godfather Responsbilities



Thank you for reading my post. I was hoping to get some advice about a situation I find myself in.

I am a godfather to both of my sister-in-law’s children. THe parents asked me to serve this role during the pregnancies and I stood in during Baptism at the local Ukrainian Catholic Church. My sister-in-law is somewhat religious while my brother-in-law is a non-believer. They do not attend church regularly, except for holidays.Their oldest child is entering second grade next year, and I recently brought up the question about First Communion. It appears that they are leaning to NOT allow their child to participate in the Sacrament. As you know, the Baptism is relatively easy while the First Communion would require that they play an active role in the Church (Classes, retreats, etc).

I am wondering what my responsibility is here. Of course, I suggested that they participate but I believe that they will not follow through. In the event that they decide not to - how much should I press the issue? At heart is the problem of my Godfatherly obligations - I did swear to help lead these children to God. I don’t want to violate the oath I swore in front of the Lord in His House. Its kind of a big deal for me. On the other hand, these are not MY children and I also don’t wan to create conflict.

So my question - what spiritual weight do I bear in the event that they do not follow through? Have I failed my oath? If so, is there a remedy? If they don’t intend to raise their children in the Church, my role as Godfather is moot. But is there a way to release myself from obligations because of parental actions?

Any advice or resources is much appreciated.


Are you sure that your Godchildren did not receive their First Communion at Baptism? It is the normal practice in the Ukranian Catholic Church.

As far as your question goes, I think you are obligated to share your faith with your Godchildren. If you live near them, you should offer to take them to church if their parents will not. You should facilitate their religious instruction without undermining the parent-child relationship. Your role is spiritual and life-long. You can be a good and encouraging example to them and always be there when they have questions.


I agree and most importantly you need to PRAY for them. Most of my God Children were not raised in the faith by their parents. I was able to take some to CCD and help get their Sacraments but many did not live close enough. I even took some of the parents to Instructions Classes with Father. (Before RCIA). Now the RCIA only wants prospective Catholics and not already Catholic that need instructions They DO need help!!! The last time I agreed to be a Godmother, (14 years ago) I made her Dad PROMISE me he would see that she went to Mass and CCD, but he hasn’t done it. Even Father told him of his obligation!! She is now a very problem teen and he is at loss as to what to do. I did not live close enough, 2 hours away, to help. All I can do is pray and believe me I DO. God Bless, Memaw


Thank you, I agree. I suppose even if the parents refuse First Communion, something is better than nothing.

The Godchildren got Bapitsm/Confirmation but not First Communion.


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